How Exposed Is Your School?

Updated April 10, 2018 |
How Exposed Is Your School?
There's much more to running a small private school than offering great academics and teaching. Be sure to check under the hood regularly to make sure everything keeps running smoothly.

Years ago I ran a small private school with 110 students in grades 9-11. I know how many demands consume a busy administrator's attention and time. I also know firsthand how difficult it is to get the owner of a private school to spend money on even the most critical items. With that in mind, I offer the following talking points for the small private school owner and her board of trustees.

How exposed is your school?

When I asked the question which is the title of this article, I had in mind your exposure on three fronts:

  • Legal
  • IT infrastructure
  • Public relations

IT infrastructure

I am not going to scare you off with a lot of tech-speak as far as your IT infrastructure is concerned. But I will highly recommend that you hire an IT expert to review your school's IT infrastructure and make recommendations. By recommending this approach, I am being a practical business person. Let's say your IT backend crashes, and you lose all your student and business data. And you have no resumption of business plan or data backups in place. You will have a tough time making an insurance claim as well as getting your school back up and running.

An impartial IT consultant will confirm that your technology infrastructure has kept up with the times. Sadly, many organizations are still running Windows XP for which support ended in 2014. Those Windows XP computers are easy targets for hackers.

You cannot treat technology like a whiteboard.

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Updated March 01, 2018 |
Disaster Preparedness: How Prepared Is Your School?
Shootings, terrorist attacks, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, fire, and more are sadly commonplace happenings in the 21st-century. How prepared for the unthinkable is your school?

A tragedy like Newtown or Parkland could never happen in a private school, right? I certainly hope that it never does, but there are no guarantees, are there? There are so many variables to consider in all of the mass shootings which have occurred since the Columbine attack in 1999 that it would be foolish to say that such events could not happen in a private school. Statistically, the odds of such an event are low. However, when it comes to the safety of our children, it is simply unacceptable to gamble. We as parents and school administrators must take steps to prevent disaster from occurring on our watch. 

Equally unforeseen are natural disasters such as tornadoes, flooding, and earthquakes. Granted, certain regions of the country are more prone to these events than others. But you only have to read the news reports to realize that things can and do happen when and where you least expect them to.

So, against this gloomy backdrop let's look at what private schools can do to protect their communities.

Protection

As I researched this article, I was impressed by the number of organizations which my search string "emergency response policy and procedure for schools" produced.  You will find plenty of relevant and useful reading when you use a search string with a narrow focus.

As Benjamin Franklin wisely noted, "A pound of prevention is worth a pound of cure." While Franklin was referring to fire prevention, his

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Updated April 24, 2018 |
An Overview Of Learning Disabilities
Raising children involves constant attention to their development and progress. Identifying learning disabilities must be part of your plan.

Having raised four children of my own and taught hundreds of others, I always tease new parents about the reality that our children come into our lives without any operating instructions. A smart TV comes with exhaustive instructions on how to set it up and operate it. Your new baby comes with nothing. Much assembly is required. Consequently, we parents have to be constantly vigilant. We must always be aware of how our children are developing from birth until they leave their home. Truthfully, even when they have left home, we keep an eye on them from a distance, don't we?

The purpose of this article is to give you some starting points so that you can explore the subject of learning disabilities thoroughly and efficiently. I have linked to a wide range of sources so that you are exposed to many points of view and expertise. You owe it to yourself and to your child to be fully aware and informed.

As your child develops, you will be watching her development closely. Parenting and Psychology Today are two of hundreds of websites which you have probably already bookmarked as you began your journey as a parent. You and your family doctor will have discussed your child's progress during your regular visits. That's one of the first places you need to go to confirm any concerns you might have. Have a list of questions to ask your health professionals. Having said that,

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Updated February 19, 2018 |
When Do You Send Your Child To Private School?
Think of the school search process as a series of checkpoints, each of which has a due date. We show you when to do the various items in the search process.

You have been thinking about private school for your child for some time now. Finally, you have decided to proceed. Naturally, you will have many questions about how to organize your school search process. Here are some answers to your questions about when to tackle the various steps in the school search process. I hope this will help you plan and execute the process efficiently and with a minimum of angst. If you want more detail on any aspect of the search process, start with How To Search For Schools.

When do you send your child to private school?

At what age to send your child to private school depends on several things. The first thing which you need to consider is the quality of the education available in your local public schools. No matter what grade you are thinking about, start with that consideration first. This step requires you to do some serious research and due diligence. Don't skip this research. 

Begin with the school's reputation. You may have heard good things about a particular public school in your area. That's a start, but take time to look carefully at the school profiles in sites such as Great Schools.  Videos posted on YouTube by private schools will give you a useful point of comparison. Here is an overview of teaching Spanish at The Rectory School.

Then, the next step is to visit the school in person. You

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Updated May 28, 2018 |
Where Did the 115th Senate Go to High School?
After conducting a survey of the educational backgrounds of current U.S. senators we were able to draw some interesting conclusions. Keep reading to learn more.

Since the year 1913, American citizens have voted to elect state senators, but that has not always been the case. Up until the mid-1850s, senators were appointed by the legislatures of the state they represented in a system that worked quite well. The idea behind this method of selection was that allowing state legislatures to elect their senators would strengthen their tie to the national government and allow them to conduct business without the distraction of pressure from the general population.

Upon the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, however, things changed. Senators are now elected by popular vote with each senator representing a single state, and each state is represented by two senators. Senators play an important role in the U.S. government by writing and voting on bills, legislation that affects the people in their representative state.

Because U.S. senators have the power to approve or deny legislation that directly affects their constituents, it is important that each senator be a fair representation of the people and the politics of each state. Problems arise when there is a disconnect between the politics and the people – when a senator votes based on his own agenda rather than the will of the people. Each senator’s educational background and upbringing bears significant weight in the decisions he makes for his state.

We recently conducted a survey of all U.S. senators to collect some information about their educational background. After collecting this information, we analyzed it and were able to draw some interesting

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